I appreciate Sheila Lennon's kind gesture of "no trash-talk" in her previous post, so I'll keep the spirit of sportsmanship up in advance of Sunday's Steelers-Patriots game, even though, as I've said before, I'm a big Steelers fan.
The Steelers' fans commonly call my hometown "Blitzburg," so in that vein, I'm giving you a hearty recipe right out of Heinz Field (home of Ore Ida) -- Twice-Blitzed Potatoes. The game's at 4:15, so these would make a great pre-dinner treat or side with your gametime meal.
4 large baking potatoes
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
8 green onions, sliced, divided
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour.
When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix in mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese and green onions Bake for another 15 minutes.
Roasting vegetables at high temperatures is great technique for bringing out deep, sweet flavors in produce by sealing in juices and caramelizing their natural sugars.
But taking it one step further by broiling and actually charring them not only gives you those deep sweet flavors, it also imparts a savory smoky dimension.
The eggplant flesh breaks down into a creamy puree that can be scooped out with a spoon and used in dips and spreads. The rich, creamy texture coats pasta well as in this recipe for rotini with smoky eggplant and red pepper sauce.
ROTINI WITH SMOKY EGGPLANT AND RED PEPPER SAUCE
1 large eggplant, cut in half lengthwise (about 1 pound)
3 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into quarters
8 ounces rotini or other small pasta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat a broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Place eggplant halves, cut-side down, in the center of the baking sheet. With a small sharp knife, prick through the skin of each half in several places. Arrange the peppers, cut-side down, around the eggplant.
Broil the vegetables until the pepper skins have blackened, about 20 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 10 minutes to loosen the skins.
Meanwhile, return the eggplant to the broiler and cook until the skin has blackened and the flesh is completely softened, about another 10 minutes.
While the vegetables cook, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the olive oil, parsley, lemon juice and garlic.
When the eggplant is done, let it cool slightly then use a large spoon to scrape the flesh from the skin and onto a cutting board. Chop the flesh to a chunky consistency and transfer to the bowl with the lemon juice and garlic mixture. Stir well.
Peel and discard the blackened skin from the cooled red peppers. Coarsely chop the peppers and add them to the eggplant mixture. Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce and toss thoroughly to coat. Season with salt and black pepper.
-- Associated Press
Here’s an interesting recipe created by barbecue expert Chris Lilly on behalf of Kingsford Charcoal. As this dish cooks on the grill, the sweet barbecue sauce in the beans caramelizes to form a black and red crust while the red pepper softens.
HICKORY BROWN SUGAR BAKED BEANS
8 red bell peppers 1 large onion, chopped
5 strips uncooked bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cans pinto beans (16 ounces each)
3 cans kidney beans (16 ounces each)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup KC Masterpiece Hickory Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon mustard
In a small frying pan, sauté onion and bacon for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional 30 seconds. Drain bacon grease from mixture. Combine contents of frying pan with all remaining baked bean ingredients into a large bow and mix well.
With a paring knife, cut a circle around the top edge of each bell pepper. The top of each pepper should then lift off like a lid. Remove pepper core, veins, and seeds and discard.
Wrap a doubled sheet of aluminum foil around the outside of each pepper leaving the top of the peppers uncovered. Fill each pepper with 3/4 cup baked bean mix.
Preheat charcoal grill to 400 degrees. Place peppers on the grill uncovered and cook for 45 minutes. Remove pepper from the grill, unwrap the foil, and serve.